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The Student Learning Commons blog is your online writing and learning community

Different ways of approaching the academic essay

Published by Hermine Chan

Many students don’t find the academic English essay structure natural — it can seem repetitive, direct, and rigid. It’s important to recognize that the English essay structure is just one mode of thinking!   

Celebrate your academic integrity this week

Published by Julia Lane

SFU's Academic Integrity week is September 28 - October 2, 2020.

We know that this year is unlike any we've had before. You are learning from your own home, in front of a computer. In this context, academic integrity can be even more challenging than usual. It is also even more important. 

Participate in academic integrity week to learn more about how to complete your work with integrity, and to celebrate the ways you already approach your learning and your work with honesty and integrity. 

Writing a Professional Email: 101

Published by Julia Lane

Former SLC English as Additional Language Peer Bessie W. returns with tips and tricks for writing a professional email. Just in time to help you reach out to your professor or TA to get clarification on those first assignments... 

Insights from a summer of remote learning

Published by Julia Lane

Former Writing and Learning Peer Grace L. reflects on her experiences with remote learning in the summer 2020 semester. She offers tips to help you set and maintain boundaries to support both your academic success and your health and well-being. 

We wish you the very best for this new kind of learning adventure and hope that these insights from the summer semester can help you get set up for success! 

Join the Conversation Partners Program

Published by Julia Lane

Former SLC English as Additional Language Peer, Trina Lal, shares reflections on the benefits of participating in the Conversation Partners program. The program continues online during SFU's remote instruction. Sign up to participate here

A trauma-informed approach to difficult course material: Part 2

Published by Julia Lane

SLC EAL Peer Ashley K. returns with more information about using a trauma-informed approach to learning. She shares more information about a trauma-informed workshop co-facilitated by Jennifer-Lee Koble and Jennifer Dehoney. She also offers 8 important self-care tips. 

To read the interview she conducted with Dr. Elise Chenier, click here

If you are in need of support, please reach out. A particularly good resource for immediate support is My SSP. 

Maintaining social cohesion in a time of social distancing

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Published by Julia Lane

Graduate Writing Facilitator Kate Elliott and Writing Services Coordinator Julia Lane provide you with some information about how the Student Learning Commons has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent closure of our in-person services. 

In this blog post, you will get information about how you can continue to get support through the SLC, remotely. 

We hope everyone is keeping well - physically, emotionally, and mentally - during this time of increased stress and isolation. 

If you have questions, please reach out to us at learning-commons@sfu.ca 

(content reposted from the Canadian Writing Centre Association Blog

A trauma-informed approach to difficult course material: Part 1

Published by Julia Lane

How do we take care of ourselves when we are introduced to difficult material in class? This is a question that SLC EAL Peer Ashley K. asked herself as she embarked on . her learning journey in HIST 436, which focuses on a close reading of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

As part of her work to answer this question, she sat down to interview the course's instructor, Dr. Elise Chenier. This two-part blog series begins with a transcript of that interview. Here is a powerful idea that emerged from their discussion, 

"my main goals is not just know the breadth and depth of the problem intellectually, but to know it in their bodies. In my opinion, when you know it in your body, then it changes you, but to know it intellectually, you can still hold that at a distance and you don't necessarily see why you should change anything about the way you do anything" (Dr. Elise Chenier). 

In part two of this series, Ashley K. shares some self-care tips that she learned through a workshop offered by Jennifer-Lee Koble and Jennifer Dehoney during the class. 

Take care of yourselves. If you are in need of support, please reach out. A particularly good resource for accessing immediate support is My SSP

5 Steps to Help You Recover from Midterm Season

Published by Julia Lane

Communications major and SLC Writing and Learning Peer,  Ayomide G. is back with a companion piece to her post on having a successful midterm season

We at the SLC hope you have all come through the midterm season well, and hope that you enjoy these 5 steps for effective midterm-recovery! 

(and we promise not to mention how close finals are now... okay, maybe we'll mention it once...) 

Broken EAL student's monologue

Published by Julia Lane

By Daniel Chang 

PhD candidate and SLC Writing Consultant Daniel Chang writes about his experience being an EAL student for the past 10 years. In this post he questions the image of EAL students as "broken students" and reinforces the idea that language issues are experienced by everyone.